The Bengals have some key free agents that need to be resigned as soon as possible if the team wants to build of back-to-back playoff appearances and continue to build toward their ultimate goal of reaching the Super Bowl. Bengals analyst Dave Lapham fully expects free agent defensive end Michael Johnson to be back with the team in 2013. MJ had a career-high 11.5 sacks, just one behind All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins for the team lead. He also expects the team to resign cornerback Adam Jones after he played the best football of his 8-year NFL career:
I think they’ll get Michael Johnson done. If they have to (franchise) tag him, they have to tag him. He’ll definitely be back. I think Adam Jones will be back. I would think the way Terence (Newman) played, he’ll be back.
Lapham wasn’t so confident when asked if the team would bring back starting middle linebacker Rey Maualuga:
Rey Maualuga? They’ve got to make a call there. They’ve got to make a lot of calls. You can’t re-sign everybody. At some point you have to make some decisions.
It may be safe to say that’s the scenario most Bengals fans would be thrilled with anyway.